Oliver Heldens, Martin Garrix, Hardwell, The Chainsmokers, Bassjackers and more have released music through Musical Freedom, the label founded by Tiësto in 2009. Musical Freedom allows the famous DJ/producer to display his open ears, keep his finger on the pulse of dance music’s latest evolutions, and aid the dance music stars of the future.
“You don’t stay at the top as long as [Tiësto] has without being open to how the landscape is changing stylistically and bringing young talent into the fold,” an associate of the label told Billboard in 2011.
That openness plays a role in Tiësto’s decision to start, AFTR:HRS, which will be devoted to the increasingly popular dance music sub-genre dubbed deep house. He explained the reasoning behind launching the sub-label in a press release. “I have always loved playing deep house and more mellow tracks in my radio show and my live shows,” the famous DJ/producer noted. “But I also love to listen to it when I drive or go out late nights or early mornings.”
Eventually he moved to help artists who make the type of songs that could soundtrack those drives and early morning activities. “I was listening to [deep house] so much that I decided it was time to create a new label just to release these types of tracks and also mix compilations,” Tiësto continued. “So today we’re launching AFTR:HRS.”
The first release on AFTR:HRS is BLR’s “Nungwi.” BBC Radio 1 got the first crack at the single this weekend. The identity of BLR is currently a secret, but there’s nothing furtive about “Nungwi,” which rises and falls in light, relentless waves. There’s a breezy, humid quality to the track’s hollow, wooden percussion and airy blobs of synth, making it an appropriate release for the summer months. Listen below; the track arrives May 20.